Happiness Index: One Third of Americans Very Happy, Men’s Happiness Lowers

A third of Americans (33 percent) are happy, reveals the latest Happiness Index from Harris Poll. The share of happy Americans is down two percent from the results in 2009 and 2008, when the portion of very happy Americans was 35 percent.

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive from May 9-16 with the participation of 2,184 American adults. The poll uses timeless and standard questions to assess the overall level of happiness in the US each year.

The participants were asked if they disagreed or agreed with a series of positive and negative statements about their relationships with friends, their health concerns, their financial situation, hobbies and activities, and various other aspects of their life.

The survey also revealed that women are happier than men – 31 percent of the men said they were very happy, down one percent from last year, and 3 percent from 2009, while 36 percent of women said they were very happy, up one percent from last year.

Racial groups show some significant differences. White Americans are the least happy, with only 32 percent saying they were very happy, while 44 percent of African Americans said they were very happy, up from 40 percent last year. Latin Americans come in second according to happiness levels, with 35 percent of the group saying they were very happy, down four percent from last year.

Not surprisingly, the happiest Americans are those from households with income of at least 100,000 dollars per year. The surprise came when Harris Interactive identified the least happy group – households making 75,000-99,999 dollars per year. In this group, only 29 percent of the respondents said they were very happy.